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Prof. Njeuma Interred 

By Walter Wilson Nana

Erudite Professor of History, Martin Zachary Mondinde Njeuma, who died April 28 in Yaounde, has been laid to rest at the Buea – Town cemetery. The funeral and burial ceremonies took place Saturday, May 29 2010.

Njeuma’s casket

During the Requiem Mass at the St. Anthony Catholic Church, Buea, concelebrated by three Bishops; Mgr. Immanuel Bushu of Buea, Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge of Mamfe Diocese (the deceased classmate in St. Joseph College, Sasse, Buea) and Mgr. George Nkuo of Kumbo, Fr. Andrew Nkea Foanyi in his homily said death is not the end. "It is the beginning of another life, even a superior life," he told mourners.

According to the Priest, death to the Christian is not a disaster, it is not an annihilation. "We do not need to fear to talk about death. When it will come, we will go," he said. Fr. Nkea saw in Prof. Njeuma a man who tried to be a good man, a lesson, which he (Nkea) highlighted to the Christians who turned out in their numbers to celebrate the requiem mass in honour of the soul late Prof. Njeuma.

At the close of the funeral mass, a message of condolence from the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, destined for Mrs. Dorothy Limunga Njeuma and family was read by the First Assistant SDO for Fako Division, Johnson Malafa. This was followed by a posthumous decoration on the remains of Prof. Njeuma. Ordered by President Biya, his representative at the requiem mass, Prof. Vincent Titanji, Vice Chancellor, University of Buea, decorated the deceased with the Commander of the National Order of Valour medal.

Bio – Data

Prof. Njeuma was born in Buea, April 9 1940 to Isaac Mase Njeuma who hailed from Edea and Sophie Mondinde from Buea. He was the first of two sons in the Njeuma family after several girls. He went to primary school in Government School Buea Station. His secondary education was at the prestigious St. Joseph’s College, Sasse in 1953. His next stop will be King’s College, Lagos, Nigeria, where he obtained the West African Higher School Certificate after a year at King’s College. He will proceed to the University of Ghana in Accra, where he earned a B.A (honours) degree in History in 1964.

1969, obtained a Ph.D in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS, University of London, England.1965 – 66, he studied French at the University of Paris, Sorbonne 1 and the Alliance Française. 1972, he studied German at the Goethe Institute at Grafin bei Munchen and Marborg, Federal Republic of Germany.

1970, Prof. Njeuma returned to Cameroon and served as Director of National Archives, Buea, West Cameroon. Subsequently, he moved to the University of Yaounde, starting as Associate Professor. He became Head of History Department and then Dean of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences. 1981, he will become full Professor and later pioneer Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Buea until 1995 that he retired. His rich university career included several visiting professorships and distinguished functions as Moderator and Chief Examiner of GCE Board Advanced – Level History.

He was a prolific writer, authoring and co – authoring many books and articles on Cameroon and Africa. Prof. Njeuma’s academic excellence and hard work was recognized nationally and internationally, earning him several awards from Foundations. He trained numerous students at the Universities of Yaounde, Buea and Ngaoundere. Many of them have become outstanding academics and senior government officials in their own right.

Prof. Njeuma is survived by two children; Dorothy Embelle Njeuma, Telecommunications Engineer, Christiana Bonbankal Njeuma, Cameroon’s first female professional pilot and his spouse of 42 years, Prof/Mrs. Dorothy Limunga Effange Njeuma. There are also his sisters, several nieces, nephews, colleagues in and out of Cameroon and his students, who shared a very special relationship with him.


An avalanche of tributes have been pouring in since the death of Prof. Njeuma. Suggestively, it will continue to come in, considering his vast academic and social networks. Mrs Njeuma wrote; "Our ambitions were not only for ourselves and our children, but also for our siblings, nephews, nieces and others who showed promise and whose levels of livelihood we made significant inputs to raise."

His 1953 classmates of Sasse College saw Prof. Njeuma as an eminent scholar, whom research has shown that he was the first Cameroonian to acquire a Ph.D in History; one of the earliest professors of the then only Cameroon university, University of Yaoundé.

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